Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
September 2024
12 Weeks
University Certificate of Study
NFQ Level 9 Minor Award
Faculty: Science and Engineering
Course Type: Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Dr Louise Kiernan
Email: Telephone: 353 (61)233686

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Brief Description

This course qualifies for 50% funding under the HCI Micro-Credential Course Learner Subsidy. Check fees section for details and eligibility.   Please Note:   Applicants may only apply for and receive, one subsidised course per semester.   

Please ensure you enter the Module Code above when applying for this module. Applications without this cannot be processed. You may apply for more than one module under the same application.

Module Description

Module Code

NFQ Level

ECTS Credits

Start Date


Design Research




Sept. 2024


This micro-credential represents a single module within a larger further award (eg. Certificate, Diploma, Masters). By taking this micro-credential you may be eligible to apply for a credit exemption should you progress to study for a further award.

The programmes associated with this MicroCred are:

This Micro-Cred explores various research approaches, with an emphasis on qualitative methods, and their integration into the design process to create opportunities for creative design solutions. 

The course material will be enabled through a series of workshops where a problem-based learning approach is applied to develop the skills being taught. Case studies and key examples of the use of these approaches for research and design will be used as material to enhance learning through practice, dialogue and reflection.   

The syllabus will include a period of immersion where students will carry out primary research in the environment of their research area. This will enable students to identify both problems and opportunities. The focus is to ask pointed questions that challenge the status quo. During this first-hand immersion period, students will collect multiple 'observations'.  

Through a process of synthesis and analyses these observations will be crafted into 'problem' and then 'need' statements. Through a process of filtering and categorisation of the needs this then forms the basis of the design guide. This is an iterative process, with progressive deeper dives into the needs that have the most potential for design and innovation solutions. 

Learning outcomes:  

On the successful completion of this module participants will:  

  • Understand the principles of user-centred design research 
  • Understand the qualitative research theory and methodologies 
  • Critically appraise their own level of knowledge on a research area in order to define research questions 
  • Apply qualitative research methods in context
  • Synthesize and analyze and interpret research findings 
  • Develop 'observation', 'problem' and 'need' statements 
  • Filter 'need' statements to optimize the potential to design and innovate 
  • Generate a design guide 
  • Demonstrate empathy and an understanding of the perspectives of multiple stakeholders within a context. 
  • Demonstrate appropriate sensitivity towards research participants recruited in a given study


Entry requirements are established to ensure the learner can engage with the course material and assessments, at a level suitable to their needs, and the academic requirements of the module. By applying to this micro-credential, you are confirming that you have reviewed and understand any such requirements, and that you meet the eligibility criteria for admission.

Successful completion of this module does not automatically qualify you for entry into a further award. All programme applicants must meet the entry requirements listed if applying for a further award.



HCI Micro-Credential Course Learner Subsidy - Candidates who satisfy the eligibility criteria can qualify for 50% funding subject to the availability of places. To clarify eligibility please go to Eligibility Criteria 

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.